Before we talk about reserving your desired domain name, let’s establish what a domain name is.
A DNS, or Domain Name System, translates an IP address into a unique, easy-to-remember address. Rather than having to recall a long string of numbers, the DNS simply redirects people to the true identifier of a server - the IP address.
For instance, "nasa.gov" is much easier to recall then the IP address of "126.96.36.199."
Domain names can be organized from right to left. The top level domain, or TLD, is located on the far right and is much like your last name. Next is the mid level domain and, yes, it is located in the middle. To the far left is the machine name and you will recognize it as ‘www’.
Levels of domains will be separated using dots. Using our website’s domain as an example, "syncdesigns" is the mid-level domain while ".com" is the top level domain.
Great! You should now have a name for your website! When choosing a domain, make sure it is simple, unique and easy to remember. There are hundreds of websites which allow you to reserve and purchase a domain (GoDaddy, of course being the most advertised).
How to Claim a Website Domain
First look to see if your desired name is taken, and you can do so here. If your preferred domain name is taken, think about changing it slightly to something more specific to the type of industry you are in.
You might also consider changing the top level domain as there are dozens of alternates to ".com" and ".org" such as ".design", ".tv", ".club", etc.
After you land on an unclaimed domain, it is time to claim it with a domain name registrar. These could include GoDaddy, Namecheap, 1&1 Internet, and Dotster, just to name a few. Once you’ve registered your domain, it will be your responsibility to keep the registration up to date by renewing it annually. Then, after you’ve reserved your domain name, you can begin thinking about hosting.
How to Host Your Website
When deciding on a website host (ahem, Synchronicity), know your needs. Ask yourself questions like:
- What kind of website am I building?
- Am I running an eCommerce website?
- What is the volume of my expected traffic?
- What kind of content will be stored on my website, and how much content?
- Do I expect to see considerable traffic growth, and in what time frame?
- Does my website require special software?
- Do I want regular maintenance included?
Once you've discovered the answers to the questions above, you can make an informed decision from your options. There are three different kind of website hosting options.
Often the most affordable solution, shared servers are less expensive because you are sharing server space with several other websites.
For small to medium sized businesses, this could be a great option. However, shared servers could cause problems for larger businesses or for companies that have intricate features on their website, such as eCommerce.
This is due to a finite number of resources on the server that are being divided among many websites. Regardless of the size of your website, you should opt to include a maintenance plan for your website if you're going the shared server route just in case the server was to go down.
A virtual server is a server that is virtually dedicated to your website. This option can provide greater resources and stability than shared servers can. Virtual servers are recommended for small businesses with eCommerce capabilities and businesses that have a moderate amount of monthly traffic.
A dedicated server means that the server is hosting your website and your website alone. These servers are typically used by larger, corporate websites that see high volumes of traffic, or websites with eCommerce functionality.
While, this option is the most expensive, it provides the most dependability and the least amount of potential downtime.
Connecting Your Domain and Your Website's Host
Once you’ve decided on the hosting option that best fits your needs, contact the new host in order to determine what information they will require in regards to your website code and domain.
Ensure whatever host you select has a highly rated and accessible customer service team (much like Synchronicity's) that will be able to answer any questions you might have before and after your website is live.
Learn More About Synchronicity's Website Domain & Hosting Services!
Ready to get started on claiming your website's domain and choosing a hosting option? Synchronicity's experienced team of web developers can assist you in reserving a domain and helping you assess what kind of web hosting solution is right for your website.
To get more information on Synchronicity's website services, please call 866-387-7962 to speak with an account representative or visit Synchronicity’s website by clicking the button below!